Nick Compton's second century of the season in the Championship did nothing to ease Middlesex's relegation worries in a draw with Warwickshire at Edgbaston yesterday.
Bottom of the First Division after Yorkshire's win on Sunday, they needed to reply with a victory of their own but batted into the last afternoon before setting the home side a target of336 in what became 56 overs.
With Warwickshire aware that defeat might suck them closer to danger, they also took the safe option and closed on 154 for 4.
Middlesex's Scott Styris hit a six and seven fours in his undefeated 80, before declaring as soon as Compton pushed a single to complete his 100 in the eighth over after lunch.
Across the Midlands at Nottingham, the outcome was in doubt for considerably longer - thanks to an engaging declaration by Hampshire's captain, Shane Warne, and adventurous batting from the hosts.
David Hussey, with 150 not out, and David Alleyne, with 99,put on 239 for the fourth-wicket, raisingexpectations of a famous chase. In the end, after Hussey hit 21 fours and a six from 260 balls, Nottinghamshire finished on 318 for five, 66 short of their target.
The Second Division leaders, Surrey, wondespite resistance from Northamptonshire yesterday morning. Surrey resumed needing four wickets for victory, with Northamptonshire 97 for 6, 355 runs in arrears. Lance Klusener (58) and Ben Phillips (52) delayed, but Surrey completed the job before lunch, bowling out their hosts for 223.Reuse content